North

Mayor of Whitehorse dons turban, learns Bhangra dance, goes viral

'I was out of my comfort zone, to be honest,' admits Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis, who gamely agreed to learn some new moves from Gurdeep Pandher. Their dance video has now been viewed more than a million times online.

'I was out of my comfort zone, to be honest,' admits Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis

'I kind of wish I had more practice and knew what I was doing, now,' said Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis. (Gurdeep Pandher/Facebook)

Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis admits he had no idea what he was getting into when he agreed to meet with local citizen Gurdeep Pandher.

He certainly didn't think he'd soon be a bit of an online sensation.

"I had no clue," Curtis says. "I was out of my comfort zone, to be honest. No one with my physique is that comfortable with juggling around.

"I thought it was going to be a couple of still photos."

Instead, Pandher made a video, showing the mayor being fitted with a Sikh turban and then being taught some Bhangra dance moves, all in the council chambers of the Yukon capital.

The seven-minute video was posted to Facebook on Friday. Since then, it's racked up more than a million views. Curtis said he's been receiving calls and emails from across Canada, as well as the U.S., India and Japan.

"It's really surreal," Curtis said. "I kind of wish I had more practice and knew what I was doing, now."

It's not the first time a video shot at Whitehorse City Council chambers has gone viral. In 2013, Northwestel's community cable station put together an epic-style trailer for its broadcasts of Whitehorse city council meetings.

'It brings us together'

Pandher, who's already cultivated an international following online with Bhangra dance videos he makes in Yukon, says he too is surprised by the response.

He's also grateful to the mayor for being a good sport.

"I feel that when we know about different cultures, we connect better and it brings us together. And as Canada is a multicultural country, I strongly believe this is the best way to deal with the hate and racism.

"The message we tried to give is that we are one Canada." 

With files from Philippe Morin